Friday, April 12, 2013

Weasel of the Week: George Chando

Mr. Chando is the superintendent of the Phillipsburg (NJ) School District, which is in the news today for a 6 month old incident that has resulted in a subtitute teacher filing a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission on the grounds of religious discrimination.

On October 12, Walt Tutka quoted a passage from the New Testament to a student who was last in line. The line reads, "The first shall be the last, and the last shall be the first.". This modern day interpretation comes from, in particular, Matthew 19:30 & Mark 10:31. The student asked a number of times from whence Tutka came with the remark. Tutka told him and asked if the student owned a Bible. When he found out the student did not, Tutka handed the youth a pocket-size Bible, presumably a New Testament, that he had with him.

Someone raised a stink with Superintendent Chando, and three months later, after being placed on suspension, Tutka was fired. Chando had recommended termination as of October 18, but it wasn't until January 14 that Tutka was formally dismissed. Chando's rationale? Tutka was wrong to even quote a passage from the Bible, even in passing. How absurd can you get?

The school district has refused to comply with requests by local media and other news outlets for e-mails & other documentation related to Tutka's employment, according to Yahoo! News. That tells us that someone, either Chando or someone else higher up, has something to hide. However, since it was Chando who felt the most offended back in October, he gets the Weasel ears for pushing for termination without due process. Besides, I don't think this would prevent Tutka from teaching Sunday School now, would it?


magicdog said...

I'll bet if the teacher had pased along a copy of the Koran, there wouldn't have been a stink at all!

You can bet the teachers' unnion won't be taking up Tutka's case either.

It wasn't all that long ago giving a kid a pocket Bible would never have been seen as a bad thing - and that's a shame.

Chando can't refuse to release the records, and sooner or later someone will find out what they're trying to hide.

hobbyfan said...

I used to have a pocket New Testament back in the day, but since I have two full-length Bibles at home, I didn't need it anymore and gave it away a while back.

As for Chando, the Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) will eventually force his hand sooner rather than later.